Horn of Africa Security Brief
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Two suicide bombers killed at least four people and wounded several others in Mogadishu on November 3. Local sources reported that the attack occurred in Hodan district of Mogadishu, an area often visited by government personnel.
U.S. nationals of Somali descent from Minnesota continue to fill the fighting ranks of al Shabaab militants in Somalia according to a report by ABC News. As recent as July 2012, two U.S. nationals identified as Mohammad Osman and Omar Ali Farah, left Minnesota to travel to Somalia to join al Shabaab. Kyle Loven, chief division counsel for FBI’s Minneapolis field office, was quoted as saying, “recruits going to Somalia from Minnesota continue to be a matter of grave concern and the FBI remains fully committed to resolving this situation.”
Al Shabaab posted a series of Twitter messages on October 31 stating that Hurricane Sandy is a consequence for rejecting Islam. Al Shabaab added that people should embrace Islam in order to find safety from Hurricane Sandy.
Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, addressed Uganda’s threat to withdraw from Somalia in an interview on November 2. Rage called the Uganda’s threat to withdraw “purely hypocritical” and “intended to deceive the Ugandan public.” In the same interview, Rage accused the United Nations of trying to colonize Somalia.
A delegation of United Nations officials visited Beledweyne in Hiraan region on November 5. The officials from the United Nations Department of Security and Safety (UNDSS) toured military bases and government offices. UNDSS officials also held meetings with AMISOM personnel to discuss the security situation.
Al Shabaab militants arrested 20 people on November 5 in Bardhere town in Gedo region. The 20 arrested individuals are suspected of selling qat, a narcotic leaf that is banned in al Shabaab controlled regions.
Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon appointed ten new ministers for his cabinet on November 4. PM Shirdon appointed the first female to serve as a minister in Somalia, Maryan Kassim as Minister of Social Development. PM Shirdon’s appointments were well received by the European Union and the United States government. In related events, Mohamed Jawari, speaker of the Somali National Assembly, urged Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon to bring his newly appointed cabinet to parliament before November 17 to receive approval.
Somali security forces arrested ten suspected al Shabaab militants in Qansah-dhere town in Bay region on November 4. Local sources added that security forces received a tip from residents in the town and raided several locations where they found the suspected al Shabaab militants.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in Mogadishu on November 4. Both parties discussed how to strengthen diplomatic relations and cooperation between Somalia and the United States.
A grenade attack at a church in Garissa, Kenya near the Somali border killed one person and wounded several more on November 4. The attack reportedly targeted Kenyan police officers gathering at a church. A total of eleven people were wounded in the attack.
A roadside blast killed at least four AMISOM troops in Kismayo on November 5. Local sources reported that the attack targeted AMISOM troops traveling near Kismayo airport. Kenyan soldiers serving with AMISOM blocked off the site of the explosion and began searching for the suspected assailants.
Al Shabaab reportedly attacked locations in Kismayo with mortars on November 4. The attacks occurred at a port area in Kismayo. Local sources reported the attacks may have resulted in casualties.
 “Two Suicide Explosions Kill 4 in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, November 3, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/two-suicide-explosions-kill-4-in-mogadishu/
 “Americans Slip From Minnesota to Somalia Terrorist Group: FBI,” ABC News, October 31, 2012. Available: http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=17609306
 “Shabaab Says Hurricane Sandy Is Consequence of Rejecting Islam,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 1, 2012. Available at SITE.
 “Shabaab Remarks on Uganda’s Announced Withdrawal from Somalia,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 2, 2012. Available at SITE.
 “UN Officials Visit Beledweyne, Hiran Region,” Bar Kulan, November 5, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/05/un-officials-visit-beledweyne-hiran-region-2/
 “Khat Traders Arrested in Bardera, Gedo,” Bar Kulan, November 5, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/05/khat-traders-arrested-in-bardera-gedo/
 Somalia: PM Unveils His New Cabinet,” Shabelle, November 4, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/somalia-pm-unveils-his-new-cabinet/
“EU Welcomes Somali Premier’s New Cabinet Line-Up,” Bar Kulan, November 5, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/05/eu-welcomes-somali-premiers-new-cabinet-line-up/
“Wendy Sherman Welcomes New Somali Cabinet,” Bar Kulan, November 5, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/05/wendy-sherman-welcomes-new-somali-cabinet/
“Jawari Asks PM to Bring New Cabinet to Parliament for Endorsement,” Bar Kulan, November 5, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/05/jawari-asks-pm-to-bring-new-cabinet-to-parliament-for-endorsement/
 “Ten Arrested in Qansah-Dhere, Bay Region,” Bar Kulan, November 5, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/05/ten-arrested-in-qansah-dhere-bay-region/
 “President Mohamud Meets U.S. Officials in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, November 4, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/04/president-mohamud-meets-u-s-officials-in-mogadishu/
 “One Killed, Dozen Injured in Garissa Church Attack, Northern Kenya,” Bar Kulan, November 4, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/04/one-killed-dozen-injured-in-garissa-church-attack-northern-kenya/
 “Roadside Blast Kills 4 Soldiers in Somalia’s Port City of Kismayo,” Shabelle, November 5, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/roadside-blast-kills-4-in-somalias-port-city-of-kismayo/
 “Al Shabaab Attacks with Mortars on Kismayo Port,” Shabelle, November 5, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/al-shabab-attacks-with-mortars-on-kismayo-port/